ESTERO, Fla. — Two days after students began moving into the dorms at Florida Gulf Coast University, the school is reporting that one student has tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite this, students and parents continued to move their boxes and suitcases into assigned dorm rooms. Student Noah Wehner says he feels confident in the additional measures the University is taking this year to prevent an outbreak, even if a student tests positive.
"I know that the school makes the right preparations when there is a positive case to make sure they are not on campus anymore and making sure they take the right procedures to stay safe and keep the students safe here. So I think we’ll be fine," says Wehner.
The university says they’ve prepared for students or staff to test positive in their re-opening plan. The student has been placed into one of 44 quarantine rooms on campus where their needs will be met by the University.
"If they need a laptop, or a webcam to continue their academic studies we would be able to provide that to them," says Ruth Rodrigues, Director of Emergency Management. "As well as if they needed food services or laundry or other services to make sure that they were comfortable to stay isolated during that time."
For all other students, classes start Monday, August 17. After months of planning, classrooms will have special safety measures as a part of the 'Protect the Nest' campaign to reopen as safely as possible.
"The foundation for the entire fall plan is and the protect the nest campaign is individual responsibility," says Rodrigues.
The University will provide two masks and sanitizing wipes in the classrooms but all students and staff are required to have their own individual COVID-19 safety plan.
"Every person has such individual needs and desires we want to make sure they’re developing their own plan," says Rodrigues.
Anyone, students or staff, who chooses to not abide by the safety rules will be disciplined for breaking the code of conduct.
Rodrigues also noted that extracurriculars may look different this year and some could be eliminated due to the virus. Despite this, students are still looking forward to what fun the campus is able to offer.
"I’m expecting to get the full experience still even though there will be some restrictions, so I’m excited about that," Kristina Colleton, student at FGCU.